I read an article in the news today about Michelle Obama and a keynote address she gave regarding childhood obesity. She noted that one in three kids in the US today is obese, and that another third are overweight. "Hmmmmmmmm," I thought. That means that only a third of our kids are a good weight.
I set out to verify her numbers and was able to do so. The fact that only a third of our children are a healthy weight is something I find incredibly scary.
When I was a kid, black and white TV was a new thing that wasn't even in every household. We rode bikes; we built forts in vacant lots or the woods; we played tag and hide-and-go-seek. We were always outside, because if we were indoors, Mom would find something for us to do, usually some sort of cleaning the house. Fat kids were virtually non-existent when I was a kid.
When I raised my own kids, we were poor... not the dirt-poor, live in a cardboard box poor, but the kind of poor where we had to make sure that every penny was not wasted. We ate a ton of produce, because it was the cheapest department, as a whole, in the grocery store, and lots of chicken because it was way less expensive than beef. We had a TV, but our house rules were that it didn't come on until after dinner. Our house rules were pretty much the same as our neighbors. So our kids were outside, too.
Although I live in a neighborhood where we are the exception (an older couple), I rarely see kids outside playing, even though I know that houses around us all have kids. And after reading this news article, I think it's sad that today's kids don't go out and play the way the kids of just one generation ago did.
A lot of people are resistant to something if either Obama says it. But setting our kids up for a lifelong weight struggle is certainly not a good idea. So what are we going to do about it?